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Coley, Saithe

Pollachius virens

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Faroes
Stock detail - Vb
Accreditation -
Fish type - White round fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is not the most sustainable choice of fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find more sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

The coley stock in the Faroes has full reproductive capacity and in a healthy state. However, fishing is controlled by effort rather than quota and this has led to a fishing mortality which is unsustainable and inconsistent with the precautionary approach. Until fishing mortality is reduced this fishery is unsustainable in the long term. Avoid eating immature saithe below about 50 cms and during its breeding time, January to March. To help reduce impact of fishing on fish stocks where fishing effort is too high, the marine environment, and species, choose line-caught fish where available. When buying longline-caught coley ask for fish caught using 'seabird-friendly' methods, see Fishing Methods for details. The longline, demersal otter trawl and jig fisheries were certified as sustainable fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council in June 2013.

Biology

Coley or saithe belongs to the same family as cod and haddock. Coley usually enters coastal waters in spring and returns to deeper water in winter. They spawn from January to March at about 200m depth along the northern shelf edge and the western edge of the Norwegian deeps. Saithe can grow up to 130cm. It is a long-lived species and can reach ages of more than 25 years. They become sexually mature when 5-10 years old and 60-70cm long.

Stock information

Stock area
Faroes

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Stock information
Although the spawning stock biomass (SSB) has decreased substantially since 2005 it now has full reproductive capacity, i.e. SSB is above Bpa, and is now estimated at around 60 kt. However, the stock is being fished unsustainably, with F above FMSY. ICES considers current catches and fishing effort on this stock unlikely to be sustainable. For 2015, ICES advises a reduction of 44% (46% in 2014; 44% in 2013) in the present fishing mortality. The Faroese Plateau and Bank fishery (demersal otter trawl,longline, jig) was certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in June 2013.

Management

An effort management system based on the number of fishing days, closed areas and other technical measures was implemented in 1996 to ensure sustainable exploitation of stocks in the area. For saithe it aims at harvesting, on average, 33% of the stock in numbers. This level of fishing is considered by ICES to be inconsistent with the Precautionary Approach. Therefore at present there is no explicit management plan for this stock.

Capture information

Most coley from the Faroes is caught using bentho-pelagic pair trawls. Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) are mandatory in the pair trawl fishery to reduce bycatch and discards. Coley is also taken in mixed demersal fisheries which include cod and haddock. Fishing is prohibited in areas where small fish exceed 30% of the catch. Trawlers are generally not allowed to fish within 12nm of the coast. Large pair trawlers account for about 94% of the coley catch, with 2% taken by single trawlers and 4% by jiggers and other fleets. The minimum landing size for coley in Faroese waters is 45cm, however, the approximate size at which 50% of females first spawn is around 50cm, so it seems likely that some fish will be taken before they have had a chance to reproduce.

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Alaska pollock, Walleye pollock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bass, seabass Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Bream, Gilthead Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Cod, Atlantic Cod Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Coley, Saithe Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Haddock Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Hake, Cape

Japanese amberjack, Yellowtail or Seriola

Meagre

Pouting or Bib

Sturgeon Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Tilapia

Whiting Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.


References
ICES Advice 2014, Book 4 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/sai-faro.pdf

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